EE UU is the Spanish abbreviation for the US (United States). In English, a person from America will say “I am from the United States” or simply “I am from the US.” In Spanish, the same person will say “Soy de los Estados Unidos” or simply as “Soy de EE.UU.” Normally, one will assume that one of the E’s stand for “Estados” and one of the U’s is for “Unidos.” The question in the minds of those who do not understand Spanish or beginners is “What do the other E and U stand for?” other people have also asked why “US” cannot be abbreviated as “EU.” While the majority of these non-Spanish speakers or beginners think that “EU” is not used because the country would be confused with the European Union “EU,” that is not the case. To understand why the US is abbreviated as EE UU in Spanish, one has to understand the rule of abbreviation in Spanish.
The Spanish Language
The Spanish language is one of the most interesting languages and is spoken in many countries around the world. Its origin can be traced from the Castile area of Spain. Spanish has over 480 million native speakers and an additional 75 million people who speak it as a second language. It is one of the six official languages of the United Nations and also one of the EU’s official language. Most of the Spanish vocabulary have their origin from Latin while Arabic and ancient Greek have also substantially enriched its vocabulary. Spoken Spanish is not as complicated as written Spanish. Written Spanish, especially when abbreviations are involved, can be difficult for beginners to comprehend.
Spanish Abbreviation Rule
In Spanish, two same phrases can be abbreviated differently depending on whether the phrase is singular or plural. The doubling of the letters indicates plurality while the use of single letters indicate singularity. For instance, the doubling of E and U means the phrase contain plural words (United States). If the phrase was in singular form (United State), it would be abbreviated as “EU” in Spanish. Other common double Spanish abbreviations include AA EE for Foreign Affairs (Asuntos Exteriores) or FF AA for Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas). However, not all plural phrases are doubled, especially when the Spanish phrase contains three or more words that are to be abbreviated. For instance, la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (United Nations) is abbreviated as “ONU” and not “UU NN.” Occasionally, Estados Unidos de América (United States of America) is abbreviated in Spanish as EAU.
Double Abbreviation in English
The double abbreviation is not only used in written Spanish but is also used in English abbreviation for few words, especially those of Latin origin. For example, a page is abbreviated as “p.,” while “pages” is abbreviated as “pp.” the same abbreviations also apply in Spanish for “pagina” and “paginas.” Another example is “manuscript” which can be abbreviated as “ms” or “MS” while in the plural it is abbreviated as “MSS.”